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Constance Stuart Larrabee, pioneering breeder of Norwich and Norfolk Terriers under the King's Prevention prefix died on July 27, 2000, in Chestertown, MD. She was 85.
Born in England on August 7, 1914, she grew up in Pretoria, South Africa. In 1933 she left to study photography in London, England and Munich, Germany and subsequently opened the Constance Stuart Portrait Studio in Pretoria, SA. She took portraits of many well-known South African artists, actors, and politicians as well as visitors from Europe. Among those she photographed were playwright Noel Coward, the British travel writer H. V. Morton and members of the British royal family.
In addition to portraiture, she captured on film the images of South Africa including the Bushman, Zulu, Ndebele, Lovedu, Swazi, Sotho and Transkei peoples. In 1944 she was appointed South Africa's first woman war correspondent. In this capacity, she spent time in Egypt photographing South Africans involved in the war. Subsequently she photographed the Allied armies as they marched through France and Italy, liberating millions of people in their path. She captured the war in photographs taken in France, England, Austria and Italy. After her return to South Africa, Constance Stuart exhibited her WWII photographs and worked for several magazines, including Harper's Bazaar.
In 1949 she came to the US and married Col. Sterling Loop Larrabee. She became an American citizen in 1953 and began a long association with Washington College, founding the College's Friends of the Arts organization and bringing exhibits of her photographs to the college. Over the years, her photographs were exhibited in some of the nation's leading museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Yale Center for British Art, and the American Museum of Natural History.
Beginning in 1950, Constance and Sterling Larrabee began breeding Norwich Terriers at their farm, King's Prevention, in Maryland. They produced many generations of Champion Norwich and provided foundation stock for many breeders.
Following the death of Sterling Larrabee in 1974, Constance travelled to England where she acquired Nanfan Corricle from Joy Taylor. Thus, a new start with a new breed. Corricle, better known as Joy, was the dam of James E. and Anne Rogers Clark's Ahoy. In another litter she produced King's Prevention Belinda, owned by Linda and Ed Plummer, who was the dam of King's Prevention Jolly Roger, the premier black and tan stud for the Clark's Surrey Kennels.
Constance Larrabee's 1982 book, Celebration on the Chesapeake, celebrated Maryland's 300th anniversary and, in September of 1986, she received an honorary doctorate from Washington College.
Survivors include a niece in South Africa, an nephew in the UK, and several cousins. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, September 9th at Washington College in Chestertown, MD. Memorial donations may be made to a favorite charity.
(Portions of this text from The Star Democrat and The Norfolk Terrier by Joan R. Read.)
ANTIC, September, 2000
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